Mike is the eldest of four children to June and Colin Carlton. June, a New Zealand Māori of Ngati Whakaue descent (a Te Arawa sub-tribe, with affiliations to the Hinemoa Point Marae in Rotorua). was an art teacher at Katikati College for much of her working life. It was June who encouraged Mike into the arts in the late 1980s, effectively creating the opportunity for him to develop Aeon Giftware.
Mike feels strongly about creating and presenting more than just ethnic giftware; he uses his ancestry and knowledge of Māori culture to relate the mythology and ideology associated through Aeon's contemporary designs and products.
Quite separate to Mike’s life as a business entrepreneur is an enduring 40 years plus, relationship with his wife Bev, their nine children and thirteen grandchildren with more on the way! The Carlton Whānau just keeps getting bigger!
Reuben has been employed at Aeon Giftware for over 14 years and is the master carver behind every carved keychain, magnet, pendant and standing carving that leaves Aeon Giftware! Reuben also handcrafts every one of Aeon’s large Waka (CA03 as pictured), making everyone a slightly different and special one-off piece!
Outside of Aeon, Reuben’s hobby is a model railway and the high attention to detail that comes along with it. His philosophy is that he would rather build a bridge than create a wall. Reuben has a large collection of over 100 locomotives and 500 carriages. His main train line is a combined length of 140 metres. That’s 1.4 rugby fields long and it’s all crammed into his hobby room!
Hayley and her partner Shane have four children and now two grandchildren. Hayley has been with Aeon for just over two years and is the friendly voice you hear on the phone when you give us a call. Hayley’s role here includes taking care of accounts, admin and dispatch. She also gets in and does her part with product assembly when required!
Outside of Aeon, Hayley has many hobbies and is not scared of breaking a nail! She enjoys renovating, from project planning and painting right through to landscaping! Hayley also bakes novelty cakes for her family as another way to challenge herself. But the thing that brings Hayley the most joy is spending time with her two beautiful moko, all the fun
Michelle is the happy voice that answers the phone when Hayley is too busy. "Mish" is another long time employee who celebrated her 10 year anniversary at Aeon recently. Her other duties include final assembly, quality and stock control, as well as giving a hand with dispatch when it gets busy.
She has four adult children with the youngest still living at home. In her spare time Mish reckons she still doesn't have a life.
William has been part of the Aeon team ever since he and his family migrated to New Zealand some 5 years ago. William has a background in IT and has used this specialist knowledge to overhaul and upgrade all Aeon's computer systems. He is responsible for the day to day running and maintenance of Aeon's three laser engravers.
Most days he can be found cutting and engraving product componentry, preparing all personalised artwork, emailing proofs and on approval, setting up and engraving it onto customers chosen products.